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House Committee Approves Bill To End Michigan Film Incentives

LANSING (WWJ/AP) - Michigan's film incentives could be coming to an end with a bill moving through the state House.

The House Tax Policy Committee voted 8-3 Wednesday, with two members passing on casting a vote, to approve a bill to stop the film incentive program, which gives money to movies, TV and digital productions in the state.

The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Dan Lauwers of Brockway would end the program Oct. 1, the end of the current fiscal year. Gov. Rick Snyder had proposed allocating $50 million for the program in the next fiscal year.

"This is all about fiscal responsibility and using common sense when we spend the money taxpayers entrust to us," Lauwers said in a statement. "The hole that we had to fill in the current budget because of mismanaged business tax credits should be a warning that to continue handing out money without a return on that investment will not work."

Supporters of ending the film incentives say the program hasn't created enough jobs to be worth keeping.

"I hope the House and Senate approve the bill quickly and we can write a happy ending to this expensive experiment," said Lauwers. "Throwing money away to bring filmmakers to Michigan – but not the full-time, good-paying jobs that were promised – is a complete waste of taxpayer money."

Film incentive advocates say the program has created good paying jobs and it's a model other states are following.

TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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